Sustainability. It’s a buzz word, a word we hear so often.
We hear it used by environmentalists, politicians, fortune 500 companies, and our hipster friends. We hear this word nearly every day and yet do we ever hear anyone really define it? Do we know what sustainability really means?
At Ember Arts we talk about sustainability quite a bit. It’s something we strive for, it’s in our mission statement, it’s what we value.
Now sustainability can mean something different to different people. But we wanted to let you in to the world of Ember, to what sustainability means to us.
What sustainability means to Ember Arts.
At Ember Arts we believe that sustainability applies to the way we care for the earth and also the people around us. We think it’s so important to create products in ways that will protect natural resources, promote reusing and up-cycling materials, and discourage waste.
We also believe that sustainability should not just be an ecological goal, but also a relational one. At Ember Arts, we want to build sustainable relationships with people — friendships that last and thrive. By being compassionate, steadfast, and authentic we believe that whole communities of people can work together to achieve positive social change.
“Sustainability is our long term goal. We want Ember Arts to be a launching point for the women we work with in Uganda and for our family and staff here in America. We want to see their time with Ember build skill sets, confidence, and self worth that allows them to move forward, dream big, and accomplish any goal.”
- Jessica Connolly, Ember Arts Co-Founder
We are enabling 28 Ugandan women to live sustainable lives.
When you really break it down, the word sustainable is all about support, strength, longevity, and the ability to continually survive and thrive. This is what Ember Arts strives to be for our Ugandan partners. Before Ember Arts existed, our artisans worked in a rock quarry where they would sit in the hot sun with a makeshift hammer, pounding stones into gravel. Making less than $1 a day, the women were barely able to stay alive.
Now, with the money they make from Ember Arts, the women’s lives are being sustained. They have enough food on the table, they’re building homes, their children are going to school, and they are investing money into new businesses. These women, their families, and their entire community are now living sustainable lives.
How we practice sustainability in our business.
Although we’re not perfect, and we’re learning new business practices everyday, Ember Arts does several things in an effort to be sustainable.
For instance, we have a tiny office with just the essentials, enabling us to keep our wastes to a minimum and save on resources like electricity and water.
Most of us who work at Ember Arts, live in the community where our office is, which means we ride our bikes and walk to work. Sustainable commuting!
And probably the most important way we incorporate sustainability in our business is through the design of our jewelry. Apart from things like metal clasps and earring hooks, all of the materials we use in creating Ember jewelry are up-cycled and recycled goods. Using materials that are locally sourced like recycled paper, seeds, and wood, our designs are extremely sustainable, cost effective, and leave no waste.
Next time you hear the word sustainability, ask yourself what it could mean, and what you can do to practice sustainable living.